Five Home Office Design Tips That Inspire Productivity

With droves of workers ditching the nine-to-five grind in pursuit of something more flexible, now more than ever you should consider the importance of a well-designed home office.

After all, working from home may seem like a luxury; however, the freelance lifestyle can be tricky to handle for newcomers due to the sheer wealth of distractions.

Emails. Phone calls. The doorbell. You name it.

Likewise, those working from home may also struggle with feelings of isolation and boredom from being cooped up indoors. You can quickly burn yourself out if you aren’t productive and ensuring that your office nurtures a “get it done” mentality versus one that simply wastes your time.

If you’re looking to crack the proverbial whip and design a home office that actually nurtures your creative, hardworking spirit, consider the following tips as a starting point.

Let There Be Light (or Lack Thereof)

Again, it’s natural to feel isolated when you’re flying solo and working from home. It’s crucial that you remind yourself that the outside side world is alive and well, so consider letting some light into your workspace. Solutions such as bamboo blinds can give your space a sense of style and make your office seem less like a cave.

On the flip side, you may find that your space gets a little too much love from the sun during the day. That’s why blinds are an absolute must for any home office space: you can let in as much or little light as you see fit. Either way, try to give yourself as least some exposure to the sun throughout the day for the sake of your mental health.

Control the Thermostat

Conventional wisdom tells us a warmer work climate fosters productivity, so keep that in mind as you adjust your thermostat while you work. Conversely, you should perhaps invest in an office fan if you find yourself sweating up a storm during the summer months if necessary. Simply keep in mind that if something feels “off” in terms of your office productivity, the temperature may very well bet he culprit.

Set the Appropriate Tone

No two jobs are created equal: likewise, comparing the office spaces of a graphic designer and mortgage broker is like comparing apples and oranges. Regardless of the scope your work, make sure that your workspace fosters creativity and establishes your own sense of personality. For example, you may opt for a bold, black-and-white themed space for a sense of professionalism that reminds you that your home office is a place of work rather than play.

Remove Any and All Clutter

That being said, clutter is surefire productivity killer. Take pride in your workspace and keep it tidy. If something is in your office that isn’t related to your line of work, such as personal knick knacks or odds and ends that you’ve been storing in your office space, it may be time to move those items out.

Rethink Your Desk

Many works are seeing huge returns through standing desks which work to help them focus: on the flip side, perhaps a comfier, high quality desk and chair combination is in order for maximum comfort while you chip away at your workload. Regardless, you should find a balance between comfort and productivity to avoid sitting for too long.

At the end of your day, your home office represents your personal space to get down to business. Instead of business as usual, consider how you can revamp your space for a more productive lifestyle.

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What Are the Best, Post-Election Investment Vehicles

While Donald Trump’s surprise election victory may have taken the financial markets by storm, the initial burst of volatility that gripped the Dow Jones and S&P quickly subsided within 24 hours of Hilary Clinton’s muted concession. This does not mean that volatility will not return to the global markets once Trump is unveiled in the Oval Office on January 20th, 2017, however, while Trump’s unique standing as a businessman rather than a politician means that the economy will head into uncharted and uncertain territory under his stewardship.

3 of the Best Post-Election Investment Models

This is no help to investors, of course, who must look to negate the uncertain climate and continue to trade profitably. With this in mind, here are three of the best post-election investment vehicles that are worth considering: –

  1. High Value Stocks Such as Apple

As a billionaire and global real estate tycoon, it is little surprise that Trump is committed to reducing the impact of corporation tax on American businesses. Under his relatively vague and yet-to-be-confirmed plan, no company of any size would pay more than 15% of their total income in taxes, creating the single largest revolution since the tenure of Regan.

Not only would this discourage firms from deferring their taxes abroad, but it would also earmark high value stocks such as Apple and Google as viable investment options. Even dividend investment would become more lucrative, with blue chip companies like Coca Cola likely to experience consider share price hikes as a result.

  1. Global Stock and Bond Index Funds

If there is one thing that investment management firms constantly preach, it is the importance of diversification. This not only applies to the assets an derivatives that you back, however, as Trump’s election win may also herald a unique opportunity expand into global stock and bond index funds.

Despite Trump’s apparent stance against globalisation, this is a process that will continue throughout the US and incorporating international funds such as the iShares Global 100 ETF can help you to capitalise on this. This will deliver both short and long-term gains, which is a considerable benefit in such an uncertain marketplace.

  1. Corporate Bonds

With the stock market likely to continue to suffer from at least some form of short-term volatility, you may also want to turn your attention to the safe haven of corporate bonds in 2017. These assets always tend to perform well when stocks are declining, while they offer a genuinely secure source of wealth that are ideal for long-term investment plans. Make sure you know what to expect from these bonds though. A good law firm, such as Withers Worldwide, will provide advice on which bonds you are eligible to buy, as well as what to do if you feel a company has not kept their side of the deal. Bonds don’t always pay big, but they can provide you with stable growth over several years.

Make no mistake; a five year corporate bond will add considerable depth to your portfolio and help to secure your capital during Trump’s inauguration. This is a key consideration, particularly as there are still considerable gaps in knowledge concerning the incoming President’s precise manifesto and economic plan.

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Planning Is Essential if You Are to Grow Your Assets

For many years it was thought that buying real estate was the best way for an ordinary working family to build up their wealth. It is too simplistic to say that people 30 or 40 years ago bought real estate which is now worth many times more than their purchase price. The best way to look at home ownership is to look at what percentage of their income at the time was needed to fund the purchase and the ongoing monthly mortgage costs. Having said that owning a home means no rent. The bottom line is the calculation on owning real estate involves more than simple figures on a piece of paper.

Real Estate

In recent years the recession has called into question whether it is worth taking a risk with investing in real estate, perhaps being overly optimistic on buying something that it is difficult to afford. Recessions occur periodically but in general families can expect the value of their properties to grow. It is a medium to long term exercise to grow an asset and in the situation when many people approaching retirement have such limited funds set aside that asset growth may be needed to provide a comfortable retirement.

Demands on Your Pay Check

The problem that many of the younger working generations face these days is they are struggling to meet their current financial commitments and therefore find it difficult to save the necessary deposit. Those starting out on a career find so many demands on their pay check. Student loans are an obvious problem and graduates who used a credit card to fund their student lifestyle often have expensive card balances to handle. Even being able to pay the monthly minimum that is required stretches finances. If this is your problem then a word of advice; get a cheaper personal loan at a cheaper rate of interest, get rid of that balance by using the urgent loan to pay it off and only use the card in the future when you can afford to pay the month end balance in full.

The point is that you cannot spend your time balancing your debts and save the money you need to get a deposit for real estate. Equally you will struggle to invest for the future anyway and certainly not be able to get the money together to have an emergency fund unless you understand financial management and have the self-discipline to follow a budget.

Those who leave home for a new city to start their careers face the prospect of finding somewhere to live; it will cost money even if it is shared accommodation. Perhaps you are luckier? If you can live at home and your parents understand that you are saving for your own place then your monthly expenditure may be far less than your friends who have significant rent to pay.

Living at Home

In the USA today it seems that an increasing number of people, even up to the age of 35, are living at home rather than moving out. The important thing is that if you have the chance to live at home that you use your money wisely; don’t spend everything you earn on things you don’t need. Devise a saving strategy with a clear idea of what you are aiming for financially.

No one teaches financial management at school and unfortunately some people learn the hard way. Investing in general is an alien concept on those in their 20s, even their 30s because they often have a problem identifying spare money that they can use. Alternatively they think that if they have a specific amount in the bank then they can spend it all before the next pay check comes in.

Budget

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that there is no point in saving because with interest rates so low there is no real growth available. You need to look beyond the very short term. Once you decide to live by a sensible budget you can expect to have a surplus to use for a few things that will potentially help your financial future:

  • Saving towards a deposit for real estate.
  • Accumulating an emergency fund, ideally a minimum of three months regular expenditure
  • Investing so that you have the chance of building up a retirement fund that will provide for comfortable retirement

In many ways these things are interlinked. Unless you understand the importance of planning for the future you have little chance of owning real estate and ultimately building up the assets to provide a comfortable future.

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